Palau i Fabre substitutes Joan Oliver as the organisation’s president at almost exactly the same that that  ‘Tísner’, having attended the 1977 Congress in Sydney, brings back the news that the PEN Club has accepted Barcelona as the host for the association’s International Assembly in 1978. Only a few months pass by until the shocking events Oriol Pi de Capanyes describes in Llibre d’Hores (1980), in a note dated Sunday 18th June 1978: “I have a feeling that the matter has been put out of orbit, the president has received a good part of the blame. With a lot of irony and very little mercy, ‘Tísner’ brands him as having an “exacerbated personality”, as if he were a “visionary”, and of being “Ill-tempered”, with whom teamwork is impossible”. Everyone resigns except Palau, who apparently has taken the matter to heart”.[1] The internal crisis arose as a result of differences between the president’s conduct, on one side, and the secretary and a large part of the Committee’s, on the other, with regard to the aspirations of the —still non-existent— Spanish PEN, who have already asked that Spanish be an official language during the Conference in Barcelona.  In October, with the International Assembly just a few months away, the decision is taken to postpone the internal debate in order to guarantee the success of the conference. The Assembly is held at the Miró Foundation with Mario Vargas Llosa presiding over PEN International and the honorary presidency of the assembly being granted to J.V. Foix. During the Assembly, the “Programme and Translations Committee” is created.  However, the success of the conference fails to resolve the internal problems, which will be present until an extraordinary assembly of 30th May 1979, when Maria Aurèlia Capmany assumes the presidency and Àlex Broch, the position of secretary.

[1] Oriol Pi de Cabanyes, Llibre d’hores (1975-1978). Fulls de dietari. Laia. Barcelona, 1980 (p. 238-241).